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The Covenant Theology of Caspar Olevianus (Bierma)

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"The purpose of this study," writes the author, "is to take a new and hard look at Olevianus's doctrine of covenant and to determine its place in the larger picture of sixteenth-century thought." Bierma analyzes all of Olevianus's work on covenant and challenges the notion that Olevianus was the first to use the covenant idea as the organizing principle of his theology. He maintains that Olevianus's most significant contribution was in using the covenant to provide assurance of salvation. 

Table of Contents: 

1. Introduction 

-  Biographical Sketch of Olevianus 

-  Survey of Past Research 

2. Continental Reformed Background

- Zwingli 

- Bullinger

- Calvin

- Musculus

- Ursinus

- Conclusion 

3. Olevianus and the Covenant of Grace 

-  Nature of the Covenant 

-  Foundation of the Covenant

-  Signs of the Covenant 

-  Three Senses 

-  Unbelievers 

-  Infant Baptism 

-  Conclusion

4. Covenant or Covenants? 

-  Pretemporal Covenant 

-  Covenant of Creation 

-  Covenant with the Devil 

-  Legal Covenant 

-  Covenant with Creatures

-  Old Covenant

– New Covenant 

5. Olevianus’s Covenant Theology in Historical-Theological Perspective

-  Continental Reformed Context

-  First Covenant Theologian?

-  Synthesizer of Bullinger and Calvin? 

-  Antischolastic

-  Broader Context

-  Medieval Background

-  Late Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

6. Conclusion  


"Dr. Bierma's book is a masterful treatment of an underrated Continental Reformed theologian on the foundational subject of covenant theology. Here is a classic reformed theology at its best, combined with valuable introductions to several important Continental reformed theologians." - Joel R. Beeke, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

About the Author 

Lyle D. Bierma is Dean of the Faculty and the Jean and Kenneth Baker Professor of Systematic Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is the author of Covenant Theology of Caspar Olevianus, The Doctrine of the Sacraments in the Heidelberg Catechism, and An Introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism.